Friday, February 20, 2015

California last day

On Monday, our last day, we had a slow morning at Katherine's house and then headed to the Venice area with her so she could attend some meetings at her office. Edie and I entertained ourselves by walking the canals, playing at the beach, walking the boardwalk and having a hipster lunch at a place called Gjelina.

She brought her stuffie from Disneyland (Marie from Aristocats):

Checking out muscle beach and all the other weirdos at Venice:
Not pleased to pose for me:
More pleased this time to pose because she found a bird of paradise on the ground that she wants to show me:
By the time we got back to the street with shops and restaurants we were both starving. Our flight was in a few hours so we needed to eat before getting a ride to the airport - we didn't have time to hunt for the most kid friendly joint. It turns out that Katherine's office is in a super hipster neighborhood so I took a risk and we went into a too cool for school restaurant that had a few oven pizzas on the menu that I hoped would appease Edie. I wish my kid was cool enough to want to order mushroom toast and cauliflower salad (also on the menu), but alas - this is not the case. She is however cool enough to wear a psychedelic unicorn dress, which it turns out, charms the kind of people who DO eat mushroom toast and cauliflower salad. When taking your child to traditionally non-kid friendly places I highly recommend first dressing them like a cross between a tiny adult, Punky Brewster, and Mary Kate Olsen.  I swear it buys you a few extra minutes of good will.

While Edie and I eat out together a fair bit, this place was definitely the least kid friendly place we'd ever been; I had a moment of panic when we got seated at a banquette with two hipster couples on either side of us (like really close to us). I knew there was a risk that Edie wouldn't like any of the food we ordered so I thought I'd appease her in another way and let her order a lemonade. The waiter instead offered, "sparkling lime aid" to which Edie replied with a face that said, "crushing disappointment". I assured the waiter that water would be just fine. But then he surprised me royally by bringing back a glass of homemade lemonade that he obviously had just made just for her with freshly squeezed lemons and sugar. Edie was over the moon. Overall I was so surprised by how well the whole experience went. Edie even ate pizza with HERBS on it and LIKED it. The risk paid off especially after lunch when they brought the dessert menu. They had gelato on the menu, which is one of Edie's faves because they have it at our favorite neighborhood joint (which you may recall from her birthday dinner photos). The waiter laughed when he listed the gelato flavors for Edie because when he got to stracciatella, she exclaimed, "Yes! Stracciatella is my favorite!"  He had no way of knowing that this is one of the staple flavors at our neighborhood place - it sort of looked like I just had a real bougie kid who liked pretending to be an adult. Anyways, after licking her bowl clean and tipping the waiter like 40%, we peaced out of there and hitched a ride to the airport where we made it home safe and sound in time for bed.

Edie literally licking her goblet clean while I worked on my black bottom banana cream pie.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

California Disney Day

On Sunday of our California visit, we made Katherine take us to Disneyland. She obliged. We nailed it.   The only disappointment of the day was that there were a lot of rides closed for refurbishments. Splash Mountain, Matterhorn, and Peter Pan most notably. But we still had a blast. There might have been one low moment when we humored Edie and got in line for Storybook Land only to regret it once it was too late to get out of the maze of the line. But we persevered and were rewarded by the fact that this ride has been updated recently to include a replica of Arendelle from the movie Frozen. Edie in the Tarzan house (formerly the Swiss Family Robinson house):
We spent a surprising amount of time watching the real live ducks in the various ponds of Disneyland instead of riding rides. Kids are weird.

Near another duck pond (ps: in case you are wondering, Edie is sporting a neck tattoo of the temporary variety - it's a tattoo of a necklace):
And yet another duck viewing sesh:

First ride? Pirates! Edie loved it and didn't remember most of the details from her last visit 2 years ago. She said, "Take my picture with the parrot mom!!!":
More at Tarzan's house:

Hands down the best moment for all of us was our first time on Big Thunder. She wasn't big enough to ride the last time we visited (plus it was closed) and it's been updated pretty dramatically to be faster and more exciting. Edie was PUMPED. And since the photos are below, it will probably be obvious that I also loved it. These photos are extra large because they are extra awesome:

"I'm not going to like churros Mom, I want cotton candy."
"Churros sound gross."
after one bite: "Oh wait. I LOVE CHURROS."

Shortly after a New Orlean's band walked by and handed Edie a necklace:

Friends forever:
After the sun went down, I bought Edie a stuffed animal on Main Street (because I am a sucker) and we went across the way to California Adventure, went on a ride, ate dinner, and attended a Frozen Singalong (because Katherine and I are both suckers). Getting ready for the show to start:
I think she enjoyed the show. PS it snowed from the ceiling at the end and Edie would like you to know that she got a snowflake in her eye.

Edie was asleep in the car on the way home within minutes and I carried her upstairs and tucked her in all dressed in her clothes at Katherine's place. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

California 2015 (post 1)

I super hard core love this kid:
And she is an amazing flyer. This was made more apparent by the other 5 year old girl seated directly in front of us on our flight to LA. I'm pretty defensive on the part of parents flying with young children because babies and kids are unpredictable time bombs in contained, quiet spaces like airplanes and I feel for parents handling this precarious situation, but DUDE. This Dad needed to get it together and reign his kid in. She was yelling maniacally about every single thing for much of the flight and not once did that Dad ask his kid to use her inside voice. A crying infant is so much more forgivable. I also enjoyed the moment when the girl in front of Edie says, "WOAH! ARE WE GOING INTO OUTER SPACE??!!!!" and Edie looks at me like 'Did you hear that? Is that kid an idiot??' I died laughing from her look alone. So condescending, but also, so funny. I'm lucky in many, many ways. But one worth mentioning is that I made a friend when I made this kid. Instead of feeling sad about the impending teenagery hatred most certainly headed my way in 5 years, I am determined to enjoy this stage to the fullest.

We went from the airport to a late lunch in Culver City. Giant chips, guac, and lemonade - what more could a girl want?

Aunt Katherine, multi tasking:

The sunset from Katherine's apartment:
Things deteriorated shortly after this photo when waking up early for our flight, the ear pressure from her cold/plane ride, and her cough turned Edie into a sad, sick kid who needed to be carried everywhere. We rallied enough to go to dinner with a friend of Katherine's but bedtime couldn't come fast enough. Thankfully she woke up the next day ready to tackle life. 
"Be quiet Mom. I'm on a call." (actual quote)

The following morning, we put on our leopard print accessories and headed out into the world.

Edie was having a good time until I asked to take this photo with her and then she got all serious sally.

Then her Rice Krispie Treat Pancakes showed up and she didn't mind posing again (those are toasted mini marshmallows on top of the pancakes):

Lunch photo of me and Kait by Edie:

We decided on Saturday to only do fun things, so after lunch it was pedicures:

It rained a few drops, so Edie used an umbrella on our way to….
Sprinkles Cupcakes!
Strawberry for me, salted caramel for Edie and vegan red velvet for Katherine:

Taken moments before the lady from the snobby shop in Pretty Woman came out to tell Edie not to stand in their window. Apparently, even when wearing leopard print, kids do not belong on Rodeo Drive.
Edie made some new friends:
And we maybe stopped into this fancy pants candy store and bought treats for her bestie and Jeff (I told you we did only fun things):

Conveyor belt sushi dinner with another friend for the win!

(PS: that is my sushi. Edie may be the coolest, but she's not THAT cool.)

Stay tuned for photos of Sunday when we tackled Disneyland.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Year of Physical Fitness

I wrote this post 3 months ago, the week after Halloween and just stumbled on it. Since I'm not feeling particularly writer-ish right now, I figure this might tide the blog over while I try to organize my holiday photos for posting.

November 2014:

This time last year I wrote this post. I can hardly believe it, but a year has passed and I haven't quit my gym routine! With maybe only one or two exceptions when I was out of town managing events for work and couldn't find the time, I've gone to the gym 5 times per week for an entire year.

Most of the things I have to say about this are cliched - I feel better than ever! I now look forward to going to the gym! Exercising has finally become a habit for me! - you get the idea. But that doesn't make any of those things less true. I sometimes find myself feeling a bit grumpy or short tempered in the evening and can often connect that feeling to the fact that it was a non-gym day. I've made friends with the gym staff and many know me and Edie by name. I think of the kids club gym staff as beloved Saturday morning babysitters. On my cardio days I help myself to the TV remote at the front desk and change my favorite screen to HGTV and I've found my favorite show ever that makes the stair-mill bearable - Fixer Upper. I can leg-press more than my body weight. I've lowered my body fat percentage by almost 10% since last November. I sometimes feel like running (but not often) and can do it without wanting to die - especially if Chip and Joanna Gains are on the TV screen in front of my treadmill, bringing the charm back into a neglected Texas farmhouse. I (mostly) eat what I want without gaining weight. I can do the monkey bars at the playground with Edie. I went to Hawaii and wore a bikini and just like I hoped when I wrote that blog post in November of 2013 - I felt like hot shit doing it. I may have even pranced.

Lifting weights and working with a trainer has made me feel more powerful and in control than I ever expected. I watched this TED talk that was circling the internet a month or two ago about how striking "large poses" for just 2 minutes a day can make you feel more powerful and that feeling can actually translate to BEING more powerful/successful. I think about that often when I'm doing this move:

Well, that's all I guess. Hopefully it's not too annoying to write all these braggy things, but it felt wrong to let the anniversary of my entry into physical fitness pass by unannounced. Everything in my life isn't coming up roses all the time, but the gym has become one of the places where I feel in control and can channel my energy. I feel all kinds of lucky to be self employed and that I have the ability to mostly make my own schedule, cramming gym visits in at random times during the day and I hope that I'm able to keep up this now cemented routine. I have no idea why my desire to get in shape actually "took" this time, but I guess it was just the right thing at the right time. Now excuse me because I have to go brush my teeth so I'll stop eating all of Edie's Halloween candy…